Border Patrol agents encountering new smuggling tactics

4 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago Friday, April 19 2024 Apr 19, 2024 April 19, 2024 5:01 PM April 19, 2024 in News - Local

Border Patrol agents say smugglers are using new ways to get drugs and migrants into the country, and those methods are making it harder for agents to find them.

According to Border Patrol Agent Christina Smallwood, smuggling organizations are handing out different colored wristbands to undocumented migrants. Smallwood says Border Patrol agents know the bracelets symbolize something, but they’re still trying to figure out what it’s used for. 

"It looks like a wristband that you would get if you were going to a festival or staying at a resort,” Smallwood said. “Agents have asked the migrants what the wristbands symbolize - or what they've been told. What we hear is that they put the wristband on them and were instructed to leave it on.”

The bracelet system could be related to another trend Border Patrol agents have been seeing. Agents have been encountering “guideless groups,” or migrants who cross the border without someone leading them.

“[Smugglers are] giving the migrants a cellphone with a pre-programmed route, a route from where to cross, where not to cross, all the way up to a pickup point,” Smallwood said.

Smallwood says while these migrants are alone, their smugglers are keeping an eye on them through the use of drones. Agents say they’re seeing more drones along the border, and they’re using their own drones to try and track all of this.

Watch the video above for the full story. 

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